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Design Technology, Food & Nutrition and BTEC Food

Our intent is to provide a breadth of experience in a wide range of skills areas for all students from year 7 upwards. Our foundations are focussed on delivered practical and theory skills which will be required to enable every student who opts in for D&T/Food at KS4, to be independent, confident and proficient in all areas. We aim to instil a sense of pride, responsibility and safe working practices at the core of this so learners can apply knowledge and be creative, within a routine and structured environment, preparing them for further learning in the workplace and providing lifeskills.


We have a well-balanced set up currently, with year 7 and 8 following a carousel system covering all three areas of D&T- Food, Resistant Materials and Textiles. These are delivered by fully trained subject specialists in bespoke classrooms with additional DT specific I.T Provision to add value. We offer GCSE D&T through the AQA route from year 9 onwards, where students experience the demands and are prepared for the controlled assessment (NEA) and the theoretical studies to complete the exam. We run assessments in all years (7-11) to embed the knowledge, identify areas for improvement with each individual and focus our revision plan on personalised areas of study. We also offer GCSE Food & Nutrition covering a wide range of skills and theory to support successful outcomes. We have alternative provision route for certain learners who progress better under closer guidance and support and they study the BTEC Food qualification.

KS3 D&T Year 7 consists of the following projects and skill areas:


Project 1- Skills Builder (8 lessons)

Project 2- Rocket cars (8 lessons)

Project 3- Tealight Project (8 lessons)

DT Skill areas

Wood- Analysis, CAD (Sketchup) Intro, Evaluation, Workshop safety and machine/ tool use

Plastics & Wood- Shaping and Modelling a concept, Analysis, Evaluation, Planning, CAD, Hand tool use and quality of finish, Machine and tool use

Metal & Wood- Creative design challenge, finishes, quality of finish, Analysis, Evaluation, planning and Making

Wider Learning

IT/Computing, other DT subjects re: safety
Life skills- Safe use of tools & machinery

Science- Physics (Aerodynamics, drag, friction, turbulence) Maths- DST triangle, handling data

Science- Chemistry (Metallurgy, Chemical finishes)


Project 1-

Project 2-

Project 3-

DT Skill areas

Food room safety- hygiene, knife skills, cooker management

Skills and techniques – all in one method, boiling and simmering, weighing and measuring.  Analysing, designing, planning and evaluating.

Skills and techniques – rubbing in method, creaming, research, design, planning and production, evaluation.

Wider Learning

Other DT subjects re: safety

Maths – portion, proportion, weight and measure.

English – sequencing, sentencing

Science – raising agents, heat transfer

English and maths as before


Project 1-

Project 2-

Project 3-

DT Skill areas

Fabrics – How they’re made. Creating felt & evaluating processes. Safety in practical lessons.

Use of sewing machine to create wall hanging. Creative design, planning & evaluation.

Creative design, research & analysis. Tool & machine use for quality finish. Evaluation.

Wider Learning

How chemicals are used to create fabric – Science.

How parts on the sewing machine work –Physics.

Marine life – Biology.

Market demand/sales – Business studies.

Measuring- Maths.


Year 8 consists of the following projects and skill areas:


Project 1- Trinket Box (12 Lessons)

Project 2- Maze project (12 lessons)

DT Skill areas

CAD, Analysis, Planning, research, Evaluate, Making. Hand and Machine tool use, quality of finish and QC

CAD, Analysis, Planning, research, Evaluate, Making. Hand and Machine tool use, Mechanism design and application

Wider Learning

Business- Product/ Market demand

Physics- Levers, mechanisms.


Project 1-

Project 2-

DT Skill areas

Skills and techniques – creaming, rubbing in, melting.  Research, design, planning, production and evaluation

Skills and techniques – roux, blended and reduction sauces. Research, design, planning, making and evaluating.

Wider Learning

Science – raising agents, Maths – portion, division, addition, subtraction, English – sequencing, sentencing,

Geography – different countries, SMSC – multi cultural project, Science – conduction and convection, English and maths as before.


Project 1-

Project 2-

DT Skill areas

Research, user-centred design, development, materials and processes selection, preparing a manufacturing specification, making, creative dye work, problem solving and evaluating.

Research, user-centred design, development, materials and processes selection, product planning including alternate processes and QCs, making, creative dye work, problem solving and evaluating.

Wider Learning

User centred products, scales of manufacture (business). Chemical reactions – Dyeing, mordents and fixatives, properties of fibres – natural/synthetic (Science). Pattern development using metric pattern paper (Mathematics). Creative design, dye work and embellishing fabrics. (Art)

QA and QC (Business), properties of fibres, tensile strength, stretch and recovery (Science). Pattern development using metric pattern paper (Mathematics). Creative design and embellishing fabrics. (Art)



Throughout all DT projects, we support the learning of Literacy with specific project key word grids, word search tasks to embed language, we set and assess tasks to include and encourage depth of writing and use literacy mats for common key terms.

Numeracy is incorporated through scale, ratio, symmetry, calculation, handling data, measurements and dimensions, weights and measures, proportion, 2D/3D design concepts.

KS4 – D&T (AQA GCSE 1-9)

Year 9 is a skills building focus year for the GCSE course, with students gaining more confidence in all areas such as Analysis, Material Knowledge, Testing materials, Design, CAD/CAM projects including laser cutting, 3D Router and 3D Printing, Workshop and Machine use, Quality of finish, combining materials using woods, metal and plastics. We also focus projects on the layout and structure of the NEA to begin the process of embedding this to enable independence at year 10 and 11. We also cover SMSC as part of our scheme of work, applying practical skills to a community project. Two previous projects have included year 9 students designing and making play equipment for the local primary school and completing a mud kitchen, water wall, veg planter project for the nursery children to use. The year 9 students have also contributed to a whole town commemoration of remembrance by manufacturing poppies and creating a school display. A large part of the focus is on healthy Lifestyles in food which links directly to studies in Sports Science and biology.

In year 10 students continue to work on sustained projects, completing a mock NEA project independently. Students are given the opportunity to select a project title from a wider selection, enabling them to take ownership and choose what they design & make.

Students begin year 11 with an exam board given topic to research, design, make and evaluate as a final NEA. They also complete the revision of all suggested areas from the exam specification through guided revision in school to support the theory side of the course.

Literacy is reinforced in greater detail though extended pieces of critical analysis and presenting design ideas. All practical work is annotated through a making diary process encouraging students to consider how they could develop their work further.

Cross curriculum areas are science (raising agents, heat transfer, function of ingredients, food science) Maths and English as before.

All projects include efficient feedback and improve cycle so students can master work rather than complete and move on. There is always directed time to do this- known as DIRT time on the whole school model. Assessment is shared regularly with the students who are then able to respond accordingly and effectively.

KS4 - Food & Nutrition

Year 9 has been developed to cover the wide variety of skills and techniques students require to enable them to access the higher level skilled dishes which allows access to the higher marks on the NEA’s.  Being confident in their own ability and allowing challenge gives greater variety in the choice of dish they choose to make as they progress through the course.

Cross curriculum areas are science (raising agents, heat transfer, function of ingredients, food science) Maths and English as before.

Year 10 has a heavy focus on the specification to prepare students for their final exam at the end of year 11.  Each specification area is delivered as topics through both theory and practical sessions.  Students are assessed to monitor progress using relevant passed paper questions and end of unit tests.  Feedback is given so students can see how to improve.

Cross curriculum areas are Geography (food security, air miles, carbon footprint, ethical and moral considerations and Fair trade) which also has links with SMSC.  Business studies (primary and secondary processing, unit costs)

Year 11 focus is on the NEA tasks students need to complete.  The previous two years have been building up to this point.  The exam board releases the tasks in September and December.   Planning allows time for students to reflect on and improve their work.  As the exam approaches attention turns to revision of the specification and exam technique.

Cross curriculum areas are English (extended pieces of writing) IT (word processing, graphs, charts, using programs)


Approximately 90% of the BTEC is based on practical work which means that gauging time, calculating weights and measures and using fractions to adapt ingredients to match family sizes are used each lesson. After cooking each dish the cost is analysed and then students look at how to economise.  This matches closely with the basics used in Maths.

Science is closely matched to Food as, for example, in one of the recipes, Lemon flan, the acidic lemon juice is added to the cream which thickens the mixture immediately. Bread-making is another popular recipe where the living organism, yeast reacts. We learn about the conditions required to activate it.  During practical lessons, students discuss the Food chain and the growing of fruit and vegetables.

Worldwide cultural food is made in class and information is discussed as to when and how the food and dishes were first discovered e.g. curry (spices added to disguise meat), pancakes (the link to Lent) and the tradition of fish eating on a Friday and also when and where potatoes were discovered. Maps of the world are viewed to look at the climate and the consequences of the food produced in that country. This all links in with History and Geography.

Cross curriculum areas are science (raising agents, heat transfer, function of ingredients, food science) Maths and English as before.

Students are encouraged to use subject specific vocabulary when discussing recipes and to correctly spell keywords when writing recipes. This is closely matched to English.


The first results of the brand new AQA GCSE course are due out in August 2019 but previous results in RMT GCSE with WJEC resulted in 71% A*-C with a target of 64% and a National average outcome of 64%. The subject has been ranked in the top 5 in the school for outcomes for the past 5 years and often in the top 3. Value added and Pupil premium figures are also on average higher than most subjects and above national average. The updates to curriculum planning are the result of years of evaluating projects and developing schemes of work to give the best opportunities for the students to access the highest outcomes at the end of year 11 and hold firm values to the demands of further education and the industrial sectors in employment.

Food – The first results for the new specification, OCR Food preparation and nutrition (1-9) were published in August 2018.  The subject once again gained excellent results, continuing with the same success as previous years.  A subject specialist, with several years of experience is one of the reasons along with careful planning, evaluating and development of the curriculum over five years.

Numbers in options and results

As two GCSE (D&T and Food) and a BTEC (Food) option from Year 9, we have a large number of students totalling 43 in Year 11, 44 in year 10 and 43 in year 9 opting for GCSE D&T. In Food there are 22 in year 9, 16 in year 10 and 13 in year 11.

Both food and D&T were in the top 4 subjects in the school for higher than average subject progress index which is an achievement which has increased consistently over the past 4 years.

Students who study the subjects at GCSE often go on to further study at A-Level Food or Product Design, take up apprenticeships in a wide range of skills areas in engineering, agriculture, catering and design.

 OCR Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE (Click for past papers and  

EdExcel BTEC Home Cooking Skills Levels 1 and 2 - BTEC Home Cooking Skills: